Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Epic of Finding Shelby's Phone!

OK, here we go. For those of you who are my Facebook friends I'm sure you're glad this entry will be the end of all my fb rants about losing my phone.

So, I saw Titanic on Tuesday night and remember seeing my phone at 11:35pm after the movie. In my mind this was in the parking lot where I dropped off my friend at her car on campus, making me 99% certain the phone was in my car or the house. On Wednesday I combed my car and cleaned my room, but no dice. I called the movie theatre lost and found, but they said they didn't have it. I doubted that it wasn't there a little since I described my phone totally wrong, and of course realized that I have no idea what my phone actually looks like. Do you know what yours looks like?

Now I've lost my phone before, for DAYS and not cared, and missed no phone calls. This time I didn't want to wait that long as I had some text convos in the air and this is my 3rd phone in 18 months and yada yada. I went to bed on Wednesday rather discouraged, but certain I would find it eventually, and hopefully soon.

Thursday dawned and I had not magically dreamt of my phone's location. I had already wasted Wednesday and was hoping I wouldn't waste my Thursday as well. I went over my car again, I moved everything in my room to the left, I unpacked and repacked my suitcases (from which I've been living for almost 5 months). I sat in my car, just sat for minutes hoping something would come to me. Nothing. My sister called the theatre and had them dig through the 3D glasses, because yes, I would probably absent mindedly drop them in with my glasses and not notice. The time of 11:35pm we realized was when I checked my phone in the theatre, making the movie theatre a viable option again. I drove to the theatre and asked them about the phone, this time with a better description, but no dice, and they wouldn't let me go "upstairs" to see the possible phones.

ENTER SPRINT: Sister suggested we call the phone company and see if they had any special stuff like the guys on NCIS or any other some such show that tracks people by triangulating and so forth. Called Sprint, asked them exactly that "Lost my phone, do you have any TV type technology like on crime shows?". They did! Well, it's called Family Locator and is used to track your kids, but there was a 15 day trial I could sign up for, and DID! My sister and I waited with baited breath to see where my phone was. I hoped it was at the movie theatre so I could go back and show them the GPS and have them show me the lost and found phones. It wasn't, where was it you ask? In/near an office building across town from where I lost it!

Ug, I called said office building told them it was in the NE corner of the building, but no one said anything about finding a phone. They were very helpful, but bottom line was there was really no way of finding my phone. My sister woke up the kids from their naps, packed them in the car, and were off! I'm not really sure what we thought we'd do when we got there. We kept reloading the Family Locator on my sister's phone which is super fancy. It was on the move! We watched it travel to an apartment complex once we were almost to the office building. Her phone gave us the complex, but not a building so we parked there and I used the main office's wifi to get more detail on my computer. The office people were very interested in the phone tracker and were very helpful.

By now brother-in-law had showed up so he and I knocked on doors of the building the tracker led us to, down to the side of the building. There were 6 possible apartments it could be in, the tracker putting a circle on this side of this particular building. None of the guys in those apts said they knew anything, we were suspicious. I went back to the office building for more wifi and the tracker got even more specific. It had moved a little into the parking lot. When I went back to show my brother-in-law he was standing by a car with my phone in the front passenger's seat, exactly where the tracker had moved! This stuff is good!

We took photos of the parking permit and again the office lady was very nice. She called the owner (didn't give us his info like a good landlady) and left him a message. When he didn't answer or call for a while brother-in-law went back to the apt and knocked all the doors asking ab the car. Meanwhile sister called the police to see if they could help at all. Right before the cops were about to submit the police report and send out some uniforms my brother-in-law found the owner of the car. He was baffled, but very cordial and nice. Here's how it went:

"Do you own this car?"
"Did you happen to find a blue and black Sprint cell phone a couple nights ago?"
"Do you mind if we could get it back?"
"Oh yeah! Let me get my keys...(walking to car) did you find me?"
"GPS baby!"

He told us he was surprised to find a phone in the movie theatre parking lot and we explained how we found him. He was amazed we'd found him bc he hadn't called anybody about the phone yet. He gave us the phone and we were on our merry way. Now let me rant a little.


I mean, come on, common finder's courtesy. If you find a phone you call "dad" or "home" or whomever they called last and tell them you found the phone. Geesh!

But now I have my phone and Mr. Darcy IV is safe and sound.


  1. Wow, great story! I had no idea that such technology existed and now I'm a little wary of taking my phone with me everywhere; my parents could be watching. I also recently blogged about a missing item. Great minds think alike.

    1. Allison and I already had a chat about our parallel lives Ben. Too bad your wallet didn't have a tracker!

  2. Holy crap- that is commitment! I'm so glad you found it, but yeah, that dude totally planned on stealing it. What a skeez.